Hjertnes.blog

Learning to use the Emacs keybindings

2019-03-03

I think I have written about this before, but I can’t remember. When I started to learn how to use Linux I first used nano, and then I got into VIM becuase the people that helped me used it. And obviously I became one of the people who mocked Emacs for being an OS.

Then Spacemacs hapened.

During the summer of 2018 I decided that I wanted to learn how to use the standard Emacs keybindings. I started doing it sometime in August, and now almost six months later I can say that I am somewhat competent using it. I’m not yet at the level where I can combine 25 shortscuts into someting nuts. But I’m at least advanced beginner or a beginning intermediate user.

This is how I went about doing this:

  1. I wrote down the basic commands I had to know, like saving files, opening files, quitting emacs, managing “windows” on a Index Card.
  2. I started a text file where I pasted interesting keybindings or answers to how to do something I used to do in VIM. And I used it as a FAQ while learning.
  3. Re-read Mastering Emacs.

The process was really slow and painful in the beginning. But after a few weeks, and getting stuff into my fingers it sped up. And today I actually prefer it to other keybindings.

The main reason I started learning it was because regular emacs with evil is kind of slow, and what I think when I’m at the other end of it is that Emacs makes a hell of a lot more sense after learning this.